All good things must come to an end. 

 

Day nine saw Festival 16 draw to a close after an unprecedented celebration of football for good. With the sun beating down on Lyon, the day featured a sizzling conclusion to the festival's football3 tournament. The crowd was energetic. The football was elegant. And the final, which went to penalties, was electric.   

 

In a see-sawing affair, team Jasiyes ultimately reigned supreme, claiming the coveted Copa Escobar in recognition of both their football skills and commitment to fair play. The team was comprised of boys and girls from Futbol con Corazon, Uni Papua Football Community, Deutsche Soccer Liga and Fundação Gol de Letra.

 

French footballing legends Claude Makelele and Christian Karembeu watched the tournament from the stands and also listened to stories from some of its participants. "My community is heavy in the presence of violence and alcoholism," explained Lisa (Colombianitos), during one particularly touching moment. "Football was an opportunity for me and my friends to stay away from that. I am a living example of the power of football to transform lives."  

 

 

 

Following the trophy presentation, the 70 participating delegations came together for an emotional closing ceremony in which speeches were made, medals were presented and plenty of hugs were given. The sun may have set on Festival 16 but it's positive power will be felt for a long time to come.